KKR-Backed Women’s Fashion Firm Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The Collected Group Company, a women’s fashion firm co-owned by private equity giant KKR & Co., filed for bankruptcy protection with plans to slash debt and give senior lenders ownership.

Under a reorganization proposal that must be approved by a judge, the company would eliminate $150 million in debt, the second time in three years the company restructured its balance sheet. In 2018, affiliates of KKR and Callodine Commercial Finance swapped about $40 million in debt for ownership as part of an out-of-court restructuring, according to court papers.

KKR and Callodine then tried to sell the company beginning in late 2019. That effort was disrupted by the pandemic, the company said. After retail sales revenue fell by 85% and wholesale revenue by 70% in 2020, TCG filed for bankruptcy.

The company has been closing stores and trying to boost online sales. While under court protection, TCG will negotiate with landlords as it restructures its finances. The Collected Group was founded in 2001 and its brands include Joie, Equipment and Current/Elliott. It sells itself as the choice of many celebrities and social media stars like Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker and Eva Longoria, according to court records.

Some potential buyers offered to acquire the company’s brands before the bankruptcy, but TCG rejected the bids as too low, the company said in court papers. Should higher offers come in, TCG would consider changing its bankruptcy strategy and sell itself, the company said.

The company owes senior lenders, including KKR and Callodine, more than $185.3 million, according to court records.

The case is The Collected Group, 21-10663, U.S. Bankruptcy Court District of Delaware (Wilmington).

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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